Headlines

Future home of a big box? Actually one man's dream of redeveloping the Hancock Golf Course for residential and commercial use has already fizzled. See <a href=/news/2013-08-30/development-plan-goes-nowhere-fast/>Development Plan Goes Nowhere Fast.</a>
Future home of a big box? Actually one man's dream of redeveloping the Hancock Golf Course for residential and commercial use has already fizzled. See "Development Plan Goes Nowhere Fast." (Photo by Jana Birchum)

› Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo has named Assistant Chief Raul Munguia as the department's new chief of staff. Munguia, a 28-year APD veteran, replaces COS David Carter, who retired from APD to take the top-cop job at the UT Police Department. Munguia had also applied for that spot.

Austin ISD trustees adopted a $997 million budget for the district for the 2013-14 school year on Aug. 27, including a one-off 1.5% pay increase. The board yet again demurred on asking voters for a tax rate increase, instead voting to cover a projected $33 million shortfall out of savings.

› AISD will also move ahead with its policy to offer domestic partner benefits to "qualified individuals," meaning someone who is neither a relative, a renter, or a tenant who has shared a residence with an AISD employee for more than 12 months. The policy had been put on hold after Attorney General Greg Abbott said it may be unconstitutional.

Hyde Park Market is flying high after Council Member Mike Martinez interceded with code compliance. The neighborhood store was ordered earlier in the week to remove its iconic flags or face a daily $2,000 fine for not having permits for the "signs."

› Low-income services nonprofit Foundation Communities announced on Tuesday the creation of a new program, Insure Central Texas. The service will provide free health insurance enrollment assistance under the Affordable Care Act beginning in October.

› The Texas Supreme Court last week denied a bid by former death row inmate Michael Blair to receive state compensation for his 1993 wrongful conviction for the murder of 7-year-old Ashley Estell, whose death prompted passage in Texas of a slew of sex offender laws. A majority of the court concluded that because Blair is serving life in prison for another crime he shouldn't be compensated for the time he wrongly spent on death row.

› For the second time in nearly a decade, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that death row inmate Scott Panetti is seriously mentally ill, but nonetheless sane enough to be executed. Expect more litigation: What appears to be malingering today is quite often madness tomorrow. For more see the Newsdesk blog, Aug. 22.

› In one of the most significant departures from the Texas Legislature in years, longtime House Appropriations Committee Chair Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, has announced he will not run for re-election. Pitts was one of the few ranking Republicans to say the Texas budget needs to raise more revenue.

› August 28 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech to more than 250,000 people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial. The march and speech are widely seen as having played a pivotal role in the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act.

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